Fiesta Friday…Sausage and Spinach Souffles …and … Carrot Cake Cupcakes… Cupcakes??? Oh, yes I did!

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I was up at 5am this morning, so that I could make some soufflés, so that I could get to my mom, Marcia’s (Marsh) house by 9am for breakfast. She loves Panera’s soufflés, so I thought it would be fun to surprise her with my version of them. Today is her birthday, and I don’t think she’ll mind if I tell you that she’s 73 today. And, I hope that when I’m 73, I look as beautiful as she does. And I’m not saying that so that I’ll be her favorite… that’s just a given, because I’m her only child..she has no choice!  She truly is beautiful.

So, today…Marsh’s birthday… is what I call a Holy Day of Obligation. It’s one of those events throughout the year that kind of turns into a week’s (or more) celebration. Because she’s so popular, I know that she has a lunch or two planned for next week to celebrate! She’s one of those people who knows and loves everyone, and everyone knows and loves her. And she expects me to know everyone too…

“You know my friend, Ruth?” she’ll ask..
“No mom, I don’t know Ruth..” I’ll answer
“Ye-esss, you know Ruth, the short lady who lives over on Market Street“ she’ll say.
“Nope, I don’t know her..” I’ll answer.
“Yes you do… Mary’s sister-in-law!” she’ll say.
“Who is Mary?” I’ll ask..
“Pru, she was the secretary at the school when you were in kindergarten…” she’ll say.
“Nope. And that was 47 years ago…” I’ll reply.
And then she’ll sit there looking at me incredulously…
“Well, you’d know Ruth if you saw her..” is usually how it ends.
(the names have been changed to protect the innocent..and of course, I exaggerate…but not by much!)

To be honest, I love those conversations. It makes me laugh for days! Sorry mom..but it’s true! Oh man, she’s going to slap me upside the head the next time she sees me…

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So, this morning…I walk into my parents house, planning on surprising mom with the soufflés, and here she is pulling out this pretty little plate filled with pastries… mini cheesecakes, eclairs, puff pastries.. typical of Marsh.. It’s her birthday…and she’s thinking of others! We had a lovely breakfast, and just a happy time.

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I keep calling them soufflés, but in reality they’re nothing like a soufflé, except that the puff pastry puffs up like a soufflé, but I really don’t think that counts. This is really a great recipe, so easy, and you can change up the meat and vegetables (or make it vegetarian) to suit your taste! For this particular one, I used breakfast sausage that had a little kick to it, spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and gruyere cheese.

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…And because I know that I can’t bake a cake, I wanted to bake Marsh something for her birthday, so I decided on cupcakes.

Yes.
I did.
I never learn.
I tried my hand at cupcakes again.

I know, I know… after last week, what was I thinking? But I really wanted to make her some carrot cake cupcakes. I chose Ina Garten’s recipe. I knew that Ina wouldn’t steer me wrong…and I was right. They are moist and delicious! I was like a little kid showing off the soufflés and cupcakes to Marsh… And she “ooh’d and aah’d” just as a mother should… It’s doesn’t matter how old we get…a mom will always be a mom…

So, today I’m bringing Marsh to Angie’s Fiesta Friday… you know…as a part of her week long birthday celebration..

I hope you stop by Angie’s blog, The Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday. That party is growing like crazy, and you’ll find some really wonderful bloggers sharing a lot of lovely recipes and stuff you’ll just love… A special thank you to Angie for hosting this great event, and for featuring my Open Face Steak and Radish Sliders from last week! I’m truly honored…

LIfe is good… It’s a Happy Birthday Mom, I love you…and Look! I made cupcakes!…. kind of good..

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Sausage and Spinach Souffle
Makes Six Tartlets

1 package puff pastry
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage (or patties)

3 eggs
1/4 cup Romano cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream or half & half

1/2 bag baby spinach (3 oz)
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated.

Salt and Pepper to taste

Unwrap the puff pastry, and let thaw. Cut each puff pastry into fourths. Spray six tartlet pans with vegetable spray. Place one square of puff pastry into each tartlet pan. Set aside.

In a medium size frying pan, break the sausage into pieces, and cook over medium heat until fully cooked. Divide the cooked sausage among each tartlet pan. It will be the first layer of the souffle.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same pan, and add the garlic. Saute for about a minute or two. Add the spinach and saute just until wilted. Add the artichokes and sundries tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat. Divide among each tartlet pan, layering on top of the sausage.

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Whisk the eggs the milk and Romano Cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour three tablespoons of the egg mixture over the spinach mixture in the tartlet pan.

Top with grated gruyere. Fold each corner of the pastry square into the tartlet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour, or until golden brown.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Barefoot Contessa Recipe

Just a quick note: Ina Garten suggested to bake the cupcakes for the first 10 minutes at 400 degrees, and then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for another 35 minutes. I found that I could bake them for 30 minutes straight at 350 degrees with no issues at all.

There will be plenty of frosting to frost the cupcakes heavily!!

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 extra large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots ( less than one pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
3/4 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, one at a time.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into muffin cups until each is 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:

Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (I used the whisk attachment and beat the frosting until it was really fluffy).

Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.

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82 thoughts on “Fiesta Friday…Sausage and Spinach Souffles …and … Carrot Cake Cupcakes… Cupcakes??? Oh, yes I did!

    • Thank you Suzanne! I think she enjoyed the soufflés.. she had so many sweets in the house, I”m not even sure if she’s had the chance to taste the cupcakes yet! As soon as Ieft, she said that her best friend came walking in with a plate filled with brownies! Lol.

  1. I am laughing SO hard but (luckily?) you can’t hear me. Are you sure you are an only child? Perhaps we were separated at birth? I have similar conversations with my Mom all the time, it goes something like this:
    Scene: Stacey in kitchen preparing meal for “guests”. Mom at counter with numerous portable devices trying to find myriad of photos and bad-mouthing said devices/requesting tech support to Tom (in adjacent room), because of lack of understanding how they function.
    Act 1:
    “Stacey, do you remember Billy Bob (name changed, because there are so many), he went to East High too?
    “No, I don’t know that name.”
    “Oh, you must know him, they lived over on Blank Street, his mother is on the (enter club/benefit/board here).”
    “No, sorry, I never met them.”
    “Oh, you must have. He would have been about five years ahead of you, but surely you knew the same people.”
    “No, can’t say I do.”
    “We’ll, turns out he just won the (enter Nobel prize/grand event/big promotion/lottery/etc. here). Maybe Tom remembers him.”
    (Tom rolling eyes from couch, happily enjoying G&T)

    BUT, you gotta love ’em! I would so miss those conversations if they did not occur.

    Happy Birthday to your Mom; I am silently (for your sake) singing the birthday song for her.

  2. What fabulous treats!! 🙂 My mom’s favorite dessert is carrot cake- I’ve made her carrot cake cupcakes for her birthday as well! I love your generous swirl of icing on top– I will have to try this recipe for her next time. or for Easter…. Yum! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #10 | The Novice Gardener

  4. Happy Birthday to your mom. We’re happy to welcome her to Fiesta Friday, especially if she is willing to share some of those delicious treats. And shame on you for thinking you couldn’t make cupcakes. You just needed a good recipe to show your talent.

    • Thanks so much Hilda! She would love that.. it’s in her soul to share treats and cook for others. As far as the cupcakes, I always feel as though I need to come up with the recipe on my own, when in reality, it’s always nice to use one that is tried and true. I think I need to just stick to developing my own savory recipes, and use the baking recipes that true bakers have created! 🙂

      • Like savoury cooking, the more you do it, the more you enjoy improvising. Still, there will always be those recipes in any category which are worth preserving as they are, and passing on to others.

  5. My girl is wonderful and a very good cook I might add. And I know that she remembers Ruth. Thanks for all of the wonderful birthday wishes. Ido celebrate my birthday the whole month of April. Marsh

    • Mom…I’m totally impressed that you figured out how to comment here! Except you’re showing up as Pa. Hahaha! Poor Ruth. I’m sure I’ll know her when I see her. Better yet, I’m sure you’ll drag me to her when we see her out in public so you can show me off to her. Hahahahaha!! 🙂 Love you. xx

  6. See, I knew you’re feature-worthy! 🙂 Soufflés and cupcakes look so delicious and adorable.

    You’re a wonderful daughter, Prudy, and sounds like you get that sense of humor from Marsh. And Marsh, Happy Birthday to you! Just to let you know, your daughter’s been making us all laugh at the fiesta, you know. That’s a good thing, right? I think so. We love her for it! XOXO

  7. Birthday Greetings to your dear mum. I hope she totally enjoyed the sausage and spinach soufflés. More important, you woke up early to have breakfast with her. What a great birthday she must have had!

  8. Hi Prudy! So nice of you to bring Marsh to Fiesta Friday this week! Happy Birthday Marsh – you have an awesome daughter who really knows how to cook! And hey Prudy, your baking looks awesome this week – congrats! Now, can I get the two of you a drink? Marsh, maybe you’d like to celebrate your birthday with a Latin Lover? Angie’s cocktail has been a real hit tonight 😎

  9. Happy Birthday Marsh!! Prudy, my birthday is 12th September….I know we don’t know each other well enough yet for me to request the cupcakes (carrot cake is my fave!) but there’s time, right?! 🙂

    • It’s so true. I cannot bake a cake to save my life. I think if you go back to my coconut cream cupcakes in November…I have a photo of a cake that I tried to bake for my daughter Katie. Pathetic!! 🙂 I need someone to tell me what I”m doing wrong! 🙂

  10. Awww! This is so sweet, Prudy. ❤

    April 4 was my Mom's birthday. If only I could send cupcakes to heaven. 😦

    The soufflé? Delicious! Cupcake? Mmm, looks perfect! ❤ I think I missed that post of yours about the 'failure'? I would need to check that out.

    Btw, did your Mom read this post? 😀

  11. Everything looks fantastic, Prudy! Of course, sausage can make anything pretty incredible. Especially with puff pastry. And that cupcake looks so delicious! Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts!

    • You’re not kidding, Lisa! Sausage, eggs, and cheese make everything incredible! 🙂 I love carrot cake too. This is a really nice recipe from Ina Garten. I just got home from the cabin, and was looking for a little something to nibble on. I had a few leftover cupcakes that I didn’t bring to my mom, and grabbed one out of the fridge. Do you know that they’re still as moist as they were on Friday?!! 🙂

      • That’s great to know! I’ve always been a huge fan of Ina. Isn’t she fantastic? I’m not surprised her recipe holds up so well 🙂

  12. Happy, happy birthday! I love birthdays and I was always the “cake maker”. Now I enjoy making cupcakes and yours looks delicious – the icing reminds me of whipped ice cream – you know from Dairy Queen LOL! Spinach and sausage – a great combination 🙂

  13. Happy birthday to your mom! What delicious treats to bake up for her 🙂 I wish mine lived close enough that I could surprise her on her bday.

  14. Wow, these look delicious! I don’t know if I would have the motivation and determination to get up at 5am to make them, though! What a wonderful daughter you are 🙂

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